Posted on December 7th, 2009 by .

Located in Old Montreal, the Hotel Le St-James is certainly in the running for this city’s nicest hotel. At the very least, it’s where Madonna and The Rolling Stones stay when they’re in town (the Stones, apparently, rent the entire hotel when they do). When meeting up with several of my fellow Montreal Tourism Insiders, only a place with this degree of swankitude would do…

The St-James has recently re-vamped its renowned restaurant, XO, which my colleague Katerine (the Insider whose job I most covet) recently reviewed. But we wanted something a bit less formal, so we stopped short of the dining area and had some drinks at the Salon XO bar before moving on to one of their comfortably cavernous booths. The wine, chosen expertly by their knowledgeable staff, flowed. A cheese plate chosen from their pared-down lounge menu was devoured. Work-related jokes fired off in every direction and plans for the holidays were discussed. And all this was accomplished before 7pm because, as we’ve discussed on this blog before, Montrealers love their 5-a-7s.

The St-James really is one of the most incredible spaces to have a drink in Montreal. Classy without being stuffy, impressive without showing off. While it’s by no means cheap, that’s entirely not the point. If you’re looking for somewhere in the Old Port to meet some friends or co-workers for an early drink, try the St-James. Because, let’s be honest, it’s the holidays and you deserve to go to a place that will serve you some “carrot air” with your Chianti.

Hotel St-James, 355 St. Jacques W., (514) 841-3111

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